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 Post subject: Choked barrels: Converting to cylinder bore choke?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:10 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:20 am
Posts: 4
I know that not all shotguns are built the same, and the types of steels used have changed a few times over the last 100+ years. I also know that since the use of hotter loads due to smokeless powder older barrels may or may not be candidates for converting to a slug gun. And obviously a skilled and legit gunsmith would have the final say/experience to be able to say if an older gun is still safe to use and if it and the barrel can handle a slug.
I don’t currently have a shotgun that would be a candidate for a slug conversion but rather would like advice on what to look for in a good candidate to modify to use slugs so that if I decide to buy a shotgun with the intention of modifying I can buy it without fear of whether or not it could be done.
Growing up with my dad being a WWI/WWII militaria, firearm, and curio and relic collector I have a lot of respect and admiration for collectible firearms and would obviously find it sacrilegious to molest and destroy a firearm of historical significance. That being said I’d like to buy one or two H&R single shot break action shotguns to use as deer guns. One for close range shooting with open rifle sights and one for longer distance shots with a good quality scope. Unfortunately not too many people are willing to part with Buck Topper models so they’re not as common to run across as the dime-a-dozen choked versions. I used my father-in-law’s Model 162 Buck Topper shotgun last year and immediately fell in love with it over my Remington 870 Express Magnum with 20” smoothbore barrel and want to switch to using them. I’m not too familiar with the H&R brand but understand it’s one of the biggest favorites of deer hunters, especially the highly sought heavy/bull barrel models. Although I can’t find much information of most of the models. What models are without a doubt slug guns? What are some of the other models of shotgun besides the ones marked Buck Topper that have cylinder bores? What of the dime-a-dozen models were only made with choked barrels and which of them would be able to be turned into a slug gun? Are there any models that could have cone with either a choked barrel or a cylinder bore barrel? I also know that H&R was the first company and that it later turned into H&R 1871 which was in operation until 1986 upon which it became New England Firearms and that it’s now owned by Remington and that the later models were produced in Ilion, New York. What is the order in quality of each manufacturer? Are the pre-1986 models higher quality than the later ones? I know the later Remington-made H&R models included heavy barrel models. Did the pre-1986 guns offer heavy barrel options as well?
If I modify one I’d primarily look for a gun needing some real TLC so as not to destroy an otherwise good collector. It would include removing rust from the barrel and rebuking or parkerizing the barrel and removing rust from the receiver the best I can without destroying the factory striped type finish, lightly sanding the stock set to a fine finish with no sanding marks, staining, and re-lacquering it or applying poly-coat.
Again, I want to be clear that I’d very likely take whatever gun I buy to a gunsmith to have it checked out overall if in questionable shape and also to evaluate if it’s safe or not to modify
How far back do you have to cut a choked barrel in order to covert it? I know that 18” is the Federal minimum length and I wouldn’t cut it any short than 18.5” just to be safe.
Anyway, I apologize for the novel but I’m very interested in H&Rs and want to be thorough in their history and different models. Any help or advice at all is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.


John




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 Post subject: Re: Choked barrels: Converting to cylinder bore choke?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:58 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:01 am
Posts: 6035
Location: Newton Kansas
You are mistaken if you think slugs loads have some sort of special pressure level different from all other shot shell loads.

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I don't always venture out into the sub-freezing darkness, but when I do, it is hunting season, and I carry a Browning. Stay hungry my friends.


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 Post subject: Re: Choked barrels: Converting to cylinder bore choke?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:20 am
Posts: 4
I just figured that with the resistance of the slug going through the barrel that the pressures would be higher. Most posts on other forums warned against using pre-40s choked shotguns with slugs without consulting a gunsmith due to using different gunpowder now


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 Post subject: Re: Choked barrels: Converting to cylinder bore choke?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:18 am
Posts: 154
If you truly want a good slug gun, I believe a rifled barrel would be a requirement. I would also worry that a light single barrel break open gun would produce substantial recoil.


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 Post subject: Re: Choked barrels: Converting to cylinder bore choke?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:56 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:01 am
Posts: 6035
Location: Newton Kansas
Boltaction86 wrote:
I just figured that with the resistance of the slug going through the barrel that the pressures would be higher. Most posts on other forums warned against using pre-40s choked shotguns with slugs without consulting a gunsmith due to using different gunpowder now

Slugs are likely a more loose fit than a wad of shot going down the barrel because under the several thousand G's of acceleration, the shot flattens backwards and, being a pile of spheres, tries to spread out, until it hits the wad sides that are pressed against the barrel sides.
Slugs will not do that.

Do you use Red Dot or Unique gunpowders?
They are "different" today then they were 100+ years ago when they were invented, and they burn so closely identically to the originals that they are effectively indistinguishable.
They aren't the only near-or-over-century-old gunpowders in common use today either.
Those 2 gunpowders (among others) have worn the names Laflin & Rand, Dupont, Hercules, and now Alliant, they have been manufactured in God knows how many different gunpowder plants by this point across the US, AND Canada, but the Original Laflin Rand plant was dismantled back in 1926.

Herco was not invented until 1966, Blue Dot was not invented until 1972, who would think it "reasonable" to refuse to shoot those powders in a Pre-1940's shotgun simply because the gunpowders are newer than the shotgun?
That sort of logic would rule out nearly every single powder in use today in nearly every shotgun older than 1990.

That said, top-velocity slugs use much newer, much slower-burning, gunpowders than those, yet they have to follow the exact same pressure limitations of any other shotgun.
The only point where shooting a solid lead slug projectile becomes even remotely "hard" on a "birdshot-gun" is IF said gun has a very tight choke at the muzzle. You slam a very soft hunk of metal through a "port" that is made of a much harder and tougher metal, and you slam it through there very fast.
Now, if you do this with solid Roundballs (aka Pumpkinballs), and you do this thousands of times, you MAY, EVENTUALLY, start to reduce the choke constriction of the barrel.
MOST shotgun slugs designed for smoothbore barrels are hollow (which keeps them flying nose-fwd because they are nose-heavy, this stability method is "Shuttlecocking" (and I am sure a more technical term exists, I was unable to find it during a couple quick searches).
Most shotgun slugs are made of dead-soft, pure, lead, and they deform easily when they meet a choke constriction.
Most non-Roundball Slugs are designed with some manner of "grooves", "slots", or "fins" around the periphery of the slug. These are not "rifling" (although they get called that), they are "crush-segments" really, their purpose is to deform upon meeting a choke constriction, to make like easier of the tightly-choked barrel.

Now, all that said, you WILL NOT LIKELY get your best accuracy from a Full-Choked barrel, so a person is extremely un-likely to shoot thousands of slugs through that tight choke.
You are ALSO UNLIKELY to get your best accuracy from a true Cylinder Bore barrel, because of the generally loose, sloppy, slug-to-bore fit, not unlike a Smoothbore Musket of old (do not confuse with a Rifled Musket).
Somewhere typically from Imp. Cyl. up towards Modified, is where most people find the best accuracy from a smoothbore barrel using the proper slugs.

SABOT slugs that use handgun bullets, require rifled barrels, period. Those bullets are tail-heavy and must be spin-stabilized, they will not shuttlecock.


Then there is the crowd of people who think that "pre-1940's" have somehow turned into elderly frail people because they are over 80 years old now.
I disagree with the above crowd, and I will leave it there (being nice).

_________________
I don't always venture out into the sub-freezing darkness, but when I do, it is hunting season, and I carry a Browning. Stay hungry my friends.


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 Post subject: Re: Choked barrels: Converting to cylinder bore choke?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:20 am
Posts: 4
Thanks for your reply. It’s fairly informative which I could use. I’ve been around guns my entire life however it was almost entirely rifles and what few types of pistols I encountered were things like 1911s, Lugers, broom handle mausers, Nambus etc. I’m fairly new to the world of shotguns and except for the last couple of years hunting, my 870 had only had the field barrel on it and I had never used it for anything but messing around with clay pigeons before that so I never learned about chokes etc.
So if I were looking for an older H&R single shot break action and didn’t end up getting one with a rifled barrel, I should look for one with a choke in the range from improved cylinder to modified, right? A rifled 12ga shouldn’t be hard to find however I’m interested in getting a 16ga as well as it’s a very underrated gauge and it’s harder to find an H&R in 16ga let alone with a rifled barrel, if they ever made any rifled 16ga break actions at all
Again, thank you for your reply. I really appreciate it


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 Post subject: Re: Choked barrels: Converting to cylinder bore choke?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:16 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:01 am
Posts: 6035
Location: Newton Kansas
I think you will hunt long and hard before you ever find a rifled 16ga barrel.

"Underrated " means no one makes any less-common things for it.

Somehow the tens of thousands of people shooting "old rifles" at 4-5 times shotgun pressures aren't nearly as scared of the 'oldness' of the gun as shotgunners are, including rifles made under wartime rush demands 100+ years ago.
Springfields, Mausers, Enfields, Mosin-Nagants, Lebels, on and on.



_________________
I don't always venture out into the sub-freezing darkness, but when I do, it is hunting season, and I carry a Browning. Stay hungry my friends.


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